If you know anything about the Baltimore Ravens, then you probably know something about the complex legacy left behind by retired linebacker Ray Lewis, a sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer.
When it came to his religious beliefs, Lewis was loud and proud to the point of driving some fans a bit nuts. I think there were some local and national journalists who were tired of his God’s linebacker sermons, as well.
Anyway, Lewis has retired and one of the big stories going into the upcoming NFL season is who will try to take his place, both on the field and in the locker room. One of the team’s top draft picks was Kansas State University linebacker Arthur Brown, who is often described as soft-spoken. A recent piece by The Baltimore Sun also suggested that it’s impossible to understand what makes this young man tick without knowing something about his — wait for it — spiritual side.
Once again, the sort-of-God card was right there in the lede:
The uplifting sounds of gospel music provide Ravens rookie inside linebacker Arthur Brown a release from the grind of football.
The second-round draft pick from Kansas State is bespectacled and soft-spoken, cultivating a professorial look off the field as he frequently wears a tie, slacks and dress shoes. During his spare time, the 23-year-old can be found playing the piano or whipping up his favorite meal of salmon and sweet potatoes.
Brown’s personality away from the game, though, is a contrast to his aggressive nature on the field.
“If you don’t know Arthur and see him on the field, you would think he’s an absolute maniac,” said Ravens rookie outside linebacker Meshak Williams, Brown’s former Kansas State teammate. “Arthur is a good person, very spiritual and one of the best friends I ever had. When he plays football, he just changes his personality. He flies around and brings an intensity to the whole defense.”
So this young man is going to play gospel music in the locker room? Or he plays it at home? Also, note the suggestion that his piano skills allow him to perform as well as to listen. There’s more to this young man than a set of colorful headphones, in other words.
And, once again, remember that we are talking about the man who is trying — on multiple levels — to step into the shoes of Ray Lewis.
So it’s going to be pretty important for this story to nail down some actual facts about his religious beliefs, as opposed to settling for vague generalities. Right?